Mumbai: Indian shares rose 1% on Wednesday after data reinforced signs of an economic recovery, but trading was choppy as investors took profits ahead of an updated budget next week.
Gains were led by Reliance Industries after the energy giant said it could not sign a deal to sell gas at below state-set prices to a former group firm without the government’s approval.
Auto shares climbed after top car maker Maruti Suzuki, leading utility vehicles producer Mahindra & Mahindra and motorcycle maker Hero Honda Motors all reported double-digit sales growth in June.
Hindalco Industries fell 3.5% to Rs83.40 after the top aluminium producer posted a 78% slump in 2008/09 consolidated profit.
Manufacturing activity expanded for a third straight month in June, albeit at a slightly slower pace, reflecting strong local demand, data showed on Wednesday.
Still, investors only took trading positions as they awaited policy direction from the budget on Monday, traders said.
“There has already been a good run-up in the market, and people are going for safe positions so they can deal with any unexpected negativity,” said Tejas Doshi, head of research at Sushil Finance.
The 30-share BSE index rose 1.05%, or 151.63 points, to 14,645.47 points, with 25 components closing higher. It slipped nearly 1% in the afternoon before pulling back. The 50-share NSE Index was up 1.16% at 4,340.90 points.
The benchmark had rallied by almost half during April-June in their best quarterly gain in 17 years, but investors are wary their expectations on the budget may be too high.
“The volumes are strong, but people are taking more daily positions. Future direction should only be known after the budget measures,” said K K Mital, chief executive for portfolio management services at Globe Capital Market.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to announce plans to sell shares in some state run firms to help fund rural and social programmes, but the cash-strapped government could expand the budget deficit and its market borrowing.
Reliance Industries, which has the heaviest weight in the main index, rose 1.7% to Rs2,057.35 after its statement late on Tuesday on the gas deal eased concerns its profits could be affected.
Financial stocks rose in anticipation of budget moves to help attract more investments in the sector.
Top lender State Bank of India firmed 2.2% to Rs1,779.80, ICICI Bank gained 1% to Rs729.25 and HDFC Bank added 0.7% to Rs1,502.
Mahindra & Mahindra rallied 3.2% to Rs714.35 after its June sales rose 19%, while Maruti gained 0.4% to Rs1,070.15 as its sales climbed 23%.
Top vehicles maker Tata Motors, expected to report monthly numbers later Wednesday, was up 2.8% at Rs299.30.
Consumer goods maker Hindustan Unilever closed up 2.1% at Rs272.70, after hitting a 52-week high of 275.20 as investors bet strong local demand would boost revenues. In the broader market, losers outpaced gainers in the ratio of 1.06:1, on above-average volume of 373.5 million shares.